Food porn plus a side of house porn? Yes please! Dining at Hayes Street Wharf Bistro [hereafter, HAYES] will facilitate both. The drive up is one marked with ‘Ooohs’ and ‘aahhhs’ and a moment where you’ll ask yourself, ‘Why can’t I live here?’. Situated a stone throw away from the Neutral Bay ferry wharf, this neighbourhood bistro invites you into its cosy and intimate dining room, via an unassuming and rather secretive front door.
The dining room in itself is nicely spaced out, where you can enjoy your meal without hearing about ‘So and so’s day’. On this particular Tuesday night, a friendly and personable waiter greeted my dining companion and myself. Once seated, we browsed the menu and deliberated on entrees of ‘Gruyere soufflé’ and ‘Seared bug tails with celeriac remoulade and avocado’. For our mains we opted for the ‘Pork loin with cognac cream and prunes’ and ‘Shiro Kin full blood wagyu skirt, glazed vegetables, truffle vinaigrette’. Before ordering our dessert, we looked over at the other tables and noticed that the mains were quite generous, so we decided to share the ‘Rhubarb blanc mange, cinnamon crumble and apple sorbet’.
Before the entrees arrived at our table, I caught a whiff of all that cheesy goodness coming from the ‘Gruyere soufflé’. I couldn’t wait to get into it. Upon the first spoonful I was in love. The textures! The flavours! The cheese! It was one of the best Gruyere soufflés I have had.
Contrastingly, my companion’s ‘Seared bug tails with celeriac remoulade and avocado’ was fresh and light. The bug was tender yet yielded a nice bite. Its tenderness was perfectly complimented by the slight crunch of the celeriac remoulade and the creaminess of the avocado. If you like to start dinner with something not too rich, this is perfect for you.
Within 20 minutes of finishing our entrees, the mains arrived. To be honest, I suffered a little plate envy when I looked at my dish, the ‘Pork loin with cognac cream and prunes’, and then looked at my companion’s ‘Shiro Kin full blood wagyu skirt, glazed vegetables, truffle vinaigrette’. But I reminded myself to never judge a book by its cover. What the dish lacked in presentation, it made up in quality and flavour. The pork was juicy and extremely tender, glazed in cognac cream and married with the sweetness of the prunes, each bite was amazing.
I asked my dining companion how the Shin Kin wagyu tasted and all I received, as response was silence, just the look on his face registered how delicious it was. Closed eyes, pursed lips that turned into a smile, I knew he was enjoying every component that was in his mouth. After some convincing, we swapped plates. OMG! The Shin Kin wagyu was sensational. The truffle vinaigrette did a great job bringing out the skirt’s fattiness and richness.
By the time we both finished our mains, we were glad that we ordered a dessert to share. The ‘Rhubarb blanc mange, cinnamon crumble and apple sorbet’ was a perfect ending to an enjoyable meal. The blanc mange was incredibly smooth and creamy though it carried the tart flavours of rhubarb well. The addition of the apple sorbet and cinnamon crumble added a refreshing quality to the dish. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.
With friendly service and a flavoursome bistro fare – Neutral Bay has more than nice homes, it has a neighbourhood gem.
Hayes Street Wharf Bistro is located at 13 Hayes St, Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Visit their website hayesstwharfbistro.com.au for more information.